Tough run-in for Towners as season reaches tense climax

Andrew Warshaw looks at Enfield Town FC’s upcoming fixtures and speaks to a club stalwart

Enfield Town director Les Gold with midfielder Sam Youngs
Enfield Town director Les Gold with midfielder Sam Youngs

It’s the business end of the season and the coming weeks could not be much tougher for Enfield Town FC in their promotion push – squeaky bum time, one might say!

Unlike the professional game, much of non-league football winds up at the end of April and the hurdles Town have to negotiate in order to reach the play-offs represent the hardest run-in of any of their rivals.

As if March hadn’t been tricky enough, with five successive away league games – four of them on the Kent or Sussex coast – before the Towners hosted high-flying Hornchurch at the end of the month, April is full of challenging fixtures.

Today (Saturday 1st) Town face play-off rivals Cray Wanderers at home, followed a week later by a trip to Horsham. Just two days after that on Monday 10th, local rivals Haringey Borough visit Donkey Lane for a bank holiday derby.

Then come the two fixtures which could ultimately decide where Town finish in the table; a visit on Saturday 15th to high-flying Bishop’s Stortford, who also lost in last season’s play-off semifinal and have been among the leading contenders all season; then the final outing of the regular season is a home fixture against Aveley, one of the surprises packages of this season, who have confounded predictions to challenge for back-to-back promotions.

Perhaps this season more than any other in recent years, the leading contenders in the Isthmian Premier Division have been incredibly evenly matched, swapping positions on a regular basis – aside from Hornchurch who have been in pole position for much of the campaign.

The promotion candidates are still separated by just a handful of points and although automatic promotion would represent Enfield Town’s ultimate dream, the ambition has always been to emulate last season’s play-off qualification – and then try to go further by winning the subsequent two games that would secure a first-ever move into National League South.

Whoever Enfield Town end up playing in the play-offs, it could well come down to goal difference, and the entire support base is holding its collective breath. Among their most passionate fans is Les Gold, a near-legendary figure and the Towners’ oldest director at the age of 82. He still lives and breathes the club despite recently moving out of the borough after 27 years.

Among Les’ many vital roles is to acquire as much sponsorship as he can, crucial financial packages without which non-league teams cannot survive. While he may have had a soft spot for Tottenham Hotspur since 1949 (he’s famously on first-name terms with a string of ex-players from his time organising corporate dinners and charity events), Enfield Town, where he is held in high esteem, is very much his number one love.

Les’ passion stems in part from his disillusionment with the way professional top-flight football has evolved. “It’s far too commercialised these days,” Les told the Dispatch. “I can remember paying £25 for a season ticket and watching the reserves on alternate Saturdays.”

It also stems, he says, from the friendships he’s made across the entire non-league fraternity, illustrated by the welcome he invariably gets in away boardrooms. “Where else can you stand outside the tunnel and all the players ask you how you are? That’s what happens to me, whether we are at home or away. And that’s what makes it all worthwhile.”

His dream, Les says, is for Enfield Town to become a fully-fledged league team. That, of course, would mean three promotions rather than one, a somewhat over-ambitious aspiration for a club of this size. “People may take that view but I’d love it to happen one day,” says Les, “even if I probably won’t be around when it does.”

No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.  

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or yearly 

More Information about donations